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Question About Clipping

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Hi guys! 1st post on the new forum:

I handle the sound in a large west Texas arena and our house system has been having an issue. The Gear Soundcraft Unity console into a BSS Soundweb, to 12 Powered Meyer MSL4's center hung.

Our announcer uses a Shure MX412/S microphone and during the team intro's when he's really "getting into it" the mic seems to "clip out" (sound from mic cuts in and out) There is music playing at the same time and it stays at a constant level. The system at this point has been "on" for about 2hours, playing music and doing PSA's. I dont think it's the boxes or the BSS going into clip because I think the music would drop out too and it doesn't. I have tried a spare mic and it still does the same thing. Could it be the console? I have watched the PFL meter on the channel and it goes into the red but never drops out, also an aux fed booth monitor on that channel never drops out. Fader rides at unity and gain is about 8 oclock. Main fader is at unity as well. The console is at least 8 years old. the BSS is less that a year old. I'm scratching my head as how to replicate the problem and troubleshoot. Any ideas would be helpfull.



[email protected]:
It's conceivable the announcer is creating more than the max spl of the 412. (Shure says: Cardioid: 124.2 dB, Supercardioid: 122.7 dB, Omnidirectional:116.7 dB). And it is easily possible that the announcer is overloading the capsule with wind energy. If the capsule is getting held at an extreme position by wind it could be in the red and sound like it's "cutting out".

In my experience the 412 looks pretty good, slim and trim. But, you need to have the wind source at least a foot away, and preferably more to avoid disaster. With a close talking announcer, the standard windscreen is not up to the task.

You may be able to rig a real (studio/radio style) pop filter to a 412, but it'll probably be easier with a more stable stand, or you may find that something as basic as a 58 with a fat foam screen will do the job nicely (The 58 begins distorting around 150db of 100hz)

Mac Kerr:
Nils is right, the MX412 is not the right mic for an announcer. It is a good looking lectern mic, where the person using it will be 10"-20" away from it. An announcer speaking close will both overload the mic, and be very prone to popping. Get a better suited mic. If the announcer needs a switch, get a desk stand with a switch in it. everyone will be happier.


Geoff Doane:

--- Quote from: Eric_John on February 02, 2011, 11:58:21 AM --- Fader rides at unity and gain is about 8 oclock. Main fader is at unity as well.
--- End quote ---

8 o'clock is barely cracked open, isn't it?  I'd concur with Mac and Nils that the level into the mic (and therefore into the console) is on the high side.  I am puzzled that you say the booth monitor doesn't drop out.  If the problem really is at the source, the monitor should show the same problem.


[email protected]:
Yes the monitor being happy is a bit of puzzlement... To replicate you can record the actual event and play it back ad infinitum just match the input levels

One small side note... if the input signal is consistently in the red and everything down stream is at unity you are asking for a lifetime of replacing drivers. ::) And Texas is a long drive from Berkeley for parts.


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